West Texan Cash Carpenter was the recipient of the Todd Drummond Memorial Award on NCHA Futurity Open finals Sunday last month.
The Todd Drummond award is presented each year to a young cutter who demonstrates athletic and scholastic achievement outside the cutting pen.
The 18-year-old from Silverton, Texas, has demonstrated ability both as team captain and lead performer on his high school basketball team, as well as an honor roll student with plans to attend either nearby Texas Tech or Texas A&M on the other side of the state.
“He’s not just a player, he helps me coach,” said Buddy Isbell, the boys basketball coach at Silverton High School, located in a town about equal distances in between Amarillo and Lubbock. “We’re a young team. He’s kind of helped coach them, bring them up a little bit.
“He is very competitive. He’s a great kid.”
Silverton High is a school of about 45 students, grades nine through 12. Depending on situations, Carpenter might be on the floor as a point guard or he might be at the post.
“He plays everywhere for us,” Isbell said.
Carpenter, of course, is also a horseman. That’s why he no longer plays on the high school golf team. There were too many conflicts with his show schedule.
“He’s been honest with me,” Isbell said about Carpenter’s feelings on where chasing golf balls around ranks compared to horses.
Carpetnter’s decision on where to go to college might hinge on the vicinity of his barn. He didn’t say that, but it’s clear he plans to be student and horseman. He has more than followed in the family tradition of cutting. He has embraced it.
“I plan to show in some aged events, the ones I can, while in school,” Carpenter said. “I’ll keep my weekend horses, maybe take one to school and ride and show when I can.”
His grandfather is a breeder and Carpenter might one day also follow in those footsteps, he said. He’s not sure what he’ll study as an undergraduate, but agribusiness is a possibility.
The thrill of watching his own horses compete at the NCHA Futurity is something he envisions.
“I have one aged event horse, Kattie Smalls [Kit Kat Sugar x Smart Sandhill Kay x Smart Mate],” said Carpenter, who has lifetime earnings of more than $75,000. “He was a twin. I showed both twins. I had a little success on both of them. Good solid horses.”
He was astride Kattie Smalls for both the NCHA Super Stakes and Summer Spectacular, advancing to the finals of the Amateur division in both. At the West Texas Futurity, the pair captured a title as non-pros.
His brother, Ryder, has also spent time in the saddle on Kattie Smalls.
“He’s always been good to share to help me get better,” Carpenter said of his brother and his horses, also calling his brother a significant positive influence. “This is the one we thought was best suited to show.”
Another possible route of study is architecture. He likes the art and science to it. He enjoys the details of old buildings and particularly likes the new Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, designed, he pointed out, by architect David Schwartz. He also noted another of Schwartz’s designs, the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
“Everything he does, he strives to be the best at,” Carpenter’s basketball coach said, which bodes well for whatever he decides to do.